Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Today started like a normal day but then there is never a normal day in the mission office. I started the day with a walk to Delta to pick up my blue Toyota Corolla. I had to take it in for service yesterday because the battery was dead. My next stop was at “The Pastry” shop for an order of “Pan Sobado”. This morning there was an all capital conference so we had to have 250 loaves of bread for all the missionaries to have for lunch. That’s a lot of bread, about 2 for each missionary. Among the missionaries it is not called “Pan Sobado” but it goes by the name the Elders have given it: “Conference Bread” because it is served at every conference. All of the missionaries love it.

This afternoon Hna. Johnson and I were on the phone for over an hour with tech support in SLC for help with IMOS. We still haven’t used it because none of the tutorial programs will play for some reason and we haven’t had any training yet. But tech support did finally manage to get the tutorials to work. Now maybe we can teach ourselves how it us it.

Hna. Johnson and I went to our apartment and a crock pot of pork chops and veggies that was really, really good. The day should have ended right there on a pleasant note but it didn’t. At about 7:00pm I got a phone call from the AP’s to come back to the office and prepare a mass e-mailing to all of the parents of all the missionaries to assure them that their son or daughter was OK after the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti this afternoon at 5:53pm. Hna. Johnson and I were in our apartment by then and we felt nothing.

Hna. Johnson and I didn’t even know there was an earthquake. But most people in the capital didn’t notice it either. Even though 7.0 is a devastating quake that can cause extensive damage, it was hundreds of miles away so only a few people felt it in Santo Domingo. The AP’s called all of the ZL’s and they called all of the missionaries to make sure everyone was OK. All of the reports came back that there were no injuries and no damage in the Santo Domingo West Mission. We do have missionaries near the border with Haiti and they said they really felt it, even though the ground really shook there wasn’t any damage.

President Almonte asked the AP’s and I to e-mail all of the families of the missionaries and reassure them that everyone was safe. It would have been easy to do a mass mailing if there already was a master list somewhere of all of the e-mail addresses available but there isn’t. I spent the next 3 hours going through the mission files and cutting & pasting parents e-mail addresses. It was a huge job and we got the letter to the parents (in English and Spanish) done and mailed at about 10:30pm. During this time I received about 8 phone calls from anxious parents back in the states inquiring about the welfare of their son or daughter. We didn’t finish and lock up the office until 11:00.

Dear Parents,
On behalf of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo West Mission, we would like to inform you that this afternoon an earthquake struck right off the Haitian Capital Port-au-Prince. The extent of the damage is likely to be catastrophic, and ours brothers and Sisters in Haiti really need our thoughts and prayers at this time.
The purpose of this letter is to inform you that at this hour there are no reports of injury or damage to missionaries or church facility in the Santo Domingo West Mission. All of our missionaries are safe and accounted for, thanks for all of your love and support.
The Santo Domingo West Mission Office

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